Monday, December 24, 2012

A Helpful Exercise as We Contemplate Gun Violence

This weekend, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA began the process of framing the gun violence debate to their political  advantage. This PR broadside was delivered after what Mr. LaPierre suggested was a respectful period of silence. Now, as a result of Friday's press conference and Sunday's interview with Dave Gregory we find ourselves engaged in a national conversation about the feasibility of putting armed guards in schools, creating a national list of the mentally ill, and looking more closely at the societal effects of media violence. What we are apparently not supposed to talk about (at least according to the NRA) is anything that might fall under the umbrella of gun control or legislation. (As I mentioned in another online conversation, it's interesting to see how many rights and amendments people are willing to throw under the bus simply to ensure the 2nd Amendment can be interpreted as broadly as possible).

While much of the NRA's stance is debatable, what struck me most were the consistent and repetitive errors of omission. Nowhere apparently (nowhere!) does the ease of access to firearms play a role in our current state of affairs. To hear the NRA tell it, the problem is simply one of bad guys, monsters, lunatics, predators, and the criminal class (as opposed to bad guys, monsters, lunatics, predators, and the criminal class with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns).

Here then is a modest exercise as you follow the gun violence debate and consider the position of the NRA. When Mr. Lapierre uses words like monsters, lunatics, predators, and the criminal class, append to his quote the phrase with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns. It's a condition of modern America that he consistently ignores, but one worth keeping in mind as we consider the issue of gun violence in the United States.

Here's some sample quotes to get you started:
  • The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...
  • How many more copycats...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame...
  • There are monsters...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...out there every day, and we need to do something to stop them.
  • We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that's got these monsters...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...walking the streets.
  •  I talked to a police officer the other day. He said, "Wayne," he said, "let me tell you this. Every police officer walking the street knows a lunatic...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...that's out there...
  • And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza...with easy access to a nearly limitless supply of guns...isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?


  1. The medias relentless assault on the 2nd amendment idiots like LaPierre is comical. Gregory actually committed a felony by holding up that 30 round magazine punishable by a 1000 dollar fine. I'm guessing that falls into the pervue of petty cash distribution for his gig. The fact that he sends his kids to the same school as the President, basically renders any opinion he has about making the rest of the country gun-free, moot. Besides the secret service contingent, that school has armed guards all over the place. Incidentally, when were supposed objective journalists supposed to be spouting off their opinions. WTF are they teaching in J-schools these days?
    I'm all for some sensible gun control laws in this country but ostensibly, the heavily armed cat is already out of the bag. Get rid of high capacity mags. I personally have no use for ar-15 knockoffs and ak-47's, but there are plinkers who want to live in their bunkers and dream of a worse world. For the last four years (and decades before that), that was okay with the government. Why didn't the current administration get on this train when they had a lead pipe majority in both houses of congress and the white house, to boot? They could have made all gun owners have pink magazines or candy flavored cartridges. The fact remains, that they did nothing and now they want to blame the douchebag head of an increasingly marginal lobbyist group. Talk about sucking the medias tit. All this posturing does nothing to help the millions of Americans who would otherwise have been institutionalized in state-run hospitals (asylums) and since the money ran out back in the 70's, they have to street these folks or leave them with incompetent relatives. The gun control thing is far more sexy to a news producer than the mentally ill. IMHO, the majority of news organizations suck hard. Right now, I'm agnostic about which one I get my daily dose from, but I would rather they just objectively report the news and let me and mine come up with our own conclusions. BTW, Reegs, thank you for your well written diatribe.

  2. wait... what is 'the christoper rendition'?
    anyways, you have some rather obvious but valid observations. there is truth in the fact that our society protects various aspects with guns.. airports, buildings, etc, yet we leave our schools unprotected. which seems odd, and to that point i agree with NRA douche bag. and i NEVER agree with those #$%@!. however, must we revert to an 'old west' mentality? do we have to arm everyone out of sheer paranoia? there must be other things we can do. STOPPING the easy access to weaponry does seem like something we can do RIGHT NOW.. because (surprise!) these laws already exist and are not being enforced. background checks.. friggin flea markets.. they're like oil and water. just doesn't happen. and for god sakes, out law the big guns and big mags! no one needs that kind of brutal force! i'm sorry, but your quaint little hobby and second amendment right of blasting the sh$% out of tin cups on the weekend is interfering with peoples right to EXIST. everyone knows the second amendment was designed at a time when the world was very different. anyone who argues otherwise is BS'ing themselves. we used to have slavery laws too... every law and amendment has it's place and time.
    see ya out on the diamond in the spring jeff!